Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea: City stop Chelsea’s counter-attacks and win comfortably

February 17, 2014
Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea: City stop Chelsea’s counter-attacks and win comfortably

Manchester City gained revenge for their recent league defeat to Chelsea.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side was very different from that match, with Costel Pantilimon, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, Javi Garcia, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic all included.

Jose Mourinho’s, however, named the closest thing possible to the XI that won at the Etihad. John Terry was out, so David Luiz moved back and John Obi Mikel came into the midfield.

City were significantly superior throughout, amazingly so given how how confidently they were beaten less than a fortnight ago. Read more »

Monaco 1-1 PSG: Ranieri switches to a diamond to prompt a Monaco fightback

February 12, 2014
Monaco 1-1 PSG: Ranieri switches to a diamond to prompt a Monaco fightback

For the second time this season, France’s top two played out a 1-1 draw.

Claudio Ranieri will be without Falcao for the rest of the campaign, and Dimitar Berbatov was only on the bench. He played a 4-4-2 system that became 4-2-2-2 when the wide players advanced, and drifted inside.

Laurent Blanc was without Edinson Cavani. He continued with a 4-3-3 system, with his new signing, Yohan Cabaye, also only on the bench.

This was a reasonably interesting match, where PSG dominated but Monaco did well to get themselves back into the game Read more »

Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: game over after 20 minutes thanks to superb one-touch football

February 10, 2014
Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal: game over after 20 minutes thanks to superb one-touch football

Liverpool produced the best spell of football the Premier League has seen this season, and recorded a crushing victory over the (former) league leaders.

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side, despite the option of fit-again Joe Allen. He’s still without four key defenders.

Arsene Wenger brought Jack Wilshere into the side, moving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out to the right flank. Nacho Monreal continued at left-back.

This was such a convincing victory, and the game was won so quickly, that it almost defies analysis. Liverpool established their lead from two set-pieces but continually opened up Arsenal in open play, and were always ready to pounce on the counter-attack. Read more »

Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea: cautious team selection from Mourinho, but positive approach

February 4, 2014
Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea: cautious team selection from Mourinho, but positive approach

Chelsea kept a clean sheet and created a number of chances in a highly impressive away performance.

Manuel Pellegrini was without Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Fernandinho. He kept a 4-4-2 with Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo upfront, and brought Martin Demichelis into the midfield.

Jose Mourinho left out Oscar and played a cautious midfield featuring both David Luiz and Nemanja Matic.

Chelsea were excellent here, working extremely hard without the ball, counter-attacking effectively and being more adventurous than expected. Read more »